Hammer Coral: A Graceful and Vibrant LPS Coral for Your Reef Tank
If you are looking for a coral that will dazzle you with its beauty and movement, look no further than the hammer coral. This coral, also known as euphyllia hammer coral or anchor coral, has a round or oval shape with long, fleshy, translucent polyps that come in a variety of stunning colors. The hammer coral is a large polyp stony (LPS) coral that can grow up to 10 inches in diameter, making it a striking addition to any reef aquarium.
The hammer coral is not very difficult to care for, as long as you provide it with the right conditions. Here are some tips to help you keep your hammer coral happy and healthy:
- Lighting: The hammer coral prefers moderate lighting, as too much light can cause tissue damage or bleaching. Place it in a shaded area or lower in the tank to avoid direct exposure to intense light sources. The ideal light intensity for hammer coral is between 80 and 120 PAR.
- Water Flow: The hammer coral likes moderate water flow, which helps it expand fully and stay clean of debris and detritus. Avoid placing it in areas with strong or direct water currents, as this can harm its delicate tissues or prevent it from feeding properly.
- Water Parameters: The hammer coral requires stable water conditions with optimal pH, temperature, salinity, and calcium levels. Maintain a pH range of 8.1-8.4, a temperature range of 75-80°F (24-27°C), a salinity range of 1.023-1.025 sg, and a calcium level of 400-450 ppm. Perform regular water changes and test your water parameters frequently to ensure a healthy environment for your coral.
- Feeding: The hammer coral is a photosynthetic coral that relies on symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae for most of its nutrition. However, it will also benefit from supplemental feeding of small meaty foods, such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, or specialized coral food. Feed your coral once or twice a week during nighttime, when its tentacles are extended and ready to capture food. You can also supplement its diet with phytoplankton or other liquid coral foods, which will enhance its color and growth.
- Aggression: The hammer coral is moderately aggressive and can extend its sweeper tentacles to sting nearby corals. Make sure to provide enough space between your hammer coral and other corals, especially other LPS corals, to avoid competition and damage. A minimum of 4 inches of space is recommended, but you should always monitor your coral’s behavior and adjust accordingly.
The hammer coral is a graceful and vibrant coral that will add a touch of flair and beauty to your reef tank. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy this coral for years to come.